Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jimi Hendrix Live Gear With Dee Curtis Chatting Bout' it

A lot of my readers are going, why do you have a picture of Jimi with Sunn amps instead of his signature Marshall stacks. Most of those pictures everyone uses. There are great pictures out there of Hendrix, you just have to look, including one I have of him working on his Tremelo.

Thanks to Dee Curtis and his knowledge on gear and stuff about Hendrix. It's actually tough to see whether it's Hendrix in the photo, but I got it off a Hendrix picture site. Dee knows his stuff when it comes to Hendrix and his gear. Whether it's Marshall stacks,the Fuzz Face,Octavia, Univibe or whatever. Dunlop has been selling the Hendrix Fuzz Face and selling like hot cakes lately.

This is a great article guys!

By Mark Grove

This article's about Jimi's live equipment in 1970. I've never been a huge fan of Hendrix but most of the musicians and fans of blues love the man. Yeah, I know I'm a prick when it comes to Hendrix. A lot of fans would like me to write this so I guess I have to. The only Hendrix material I liked was when he played with Little Richard and when The Experience backed up Blues acts was when they really shined. That's the Blues that really tickles my musical funny bone. Well here it goes...

Jimi's live on stage gear: We don't start off with Jimi's guitar, we start from the sound hole folks. Where it all comes out and mesmerizes us. That being... Amp Rig: Marshall heads and Celestion 4 x 12 cabinets    Heads: Marshall 100 watters.

I know Jimi used other heads as well, but I'm not sure which kind. Maybe different combos of cabinets and heads made for a more interpretive and live feel. Where as a total Marshall amp package may have been better for the studio. There are many recording variables. The Marshall heads then went into a cabinet I wasn't sure about, so I asked Dee Curtis what it was. Low and behold he knew it was a rotating speaker made by Univibe, possibly a Leslie, and used as a fantastic effects box.

At most Sessions and concerts after 69' Jimi used it. As well a Univibe pedal was directly connected to the Univibe Box for added effects. Next on our backwards list is The Custom Octavia. Earlier known in 67' as the "Octavio" was invented and made by effects man Roger Mayer in 67'. The Octavio was used as well on lesser known Hendrix recordings such as "One Rainy Wish" and yes I hate to say it "Purple Haze". Next on our trick bag of Hendrix live stage effects is the Arbiter Fuzz Face which originally Hendrix ran into his guitar, then into a wah pedal and out to an amp. The "Fuzz Face" originally had two transistors which gave it a warm tube like sound and essentially put too much pressure on the "wah" it's self. As well, because of the differences in sound requirements on  stage the Fuzz Face had to be run first or the effects would literally be non existent.

I get the feeling that Jimi, believe or not, was a minimalist in regards to effects and relied on his chord and interpretive styles, which in effect blended in well with the Octavio and Fuzz Face especially. Next on our list is the well known "Vox CryBaby Wah" which Hendrix used in his earlier gigs as the last piece of effects equipment before the Amp. Last, but surely not least, is Jimi's 1970 Fender Stratocaster. Jimi used Sunburst Strats mainly in the studio and used Black and white ones for live shows. I will have the specifics on his guitars in a future article, so be watching out for it. As well, Michael FairChild who wrote the book "Are you Experienced?" You can find a number of articles he has done on the gear of Jimmy Hendrix in Back issues of (Guitar Shop) magazine.

Mark Grove---

Thanks to Dee Curtis for his knowledge and know how from that era where Hendrix reigned

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